Monday, June 03, 2013

UPND not interested in replacing HH - Kakoma
By Allan Mulenga in Lusaka and Lemmy Likando in Sinazongwe
Mon 03 June 2013, 14:01 CAT

THE UPND is not interested in replacing Hakainde Hichilema as party president, says party spokesperson Charles Kakoma. And Kakoma says the UPND does not only depend on Hichilema for financial support.

Meanwhile, Sinazongwe residents have pledged total support towards their expelled area member of Parliament Richwell Siamunene and have vowed to shame Hichilema by making sure that his party loses the seat once by-elections are held in the constituency.

Commenting on Siamunene's statement that the UPND should begin to look beyond Hichilema as party president for 2016 elections, Kakoma said he was hopeful that members would still elect Hichilema as party leader at the national convention.

"The UPND is not interested in replacing Hakainde Hichilema. We chose him as a leader and he remains there as party president. I am sure that when we go for the national convention, the people will still choose him as a leader of the party," he said.

Kakoma said UPND was ready to mount a serious challenge to the PF in 2016 elections.

"Siamunene is no longer a UPND member therefore he cannot speak on behalf of the party. He is a member of the PF practically. He has no moral rights to choose who should be leading the UPND. But there are no fortunes that the UPND is losing. Right now we are growing as a party," he said.

"Therefore, I do not see which fortunes he is talking about. If we expel him, it doesn't mean that the fortunes have gone down. The people in Sinazongwe are jubilating for expelling Siamunene."
Kakoma said UPND was not the party for Tongas alone, but for all Zambians.

"What he Siamunene is talking about is nonsense that Hakainde need to recruit Tongas. Hakainde is recruiting people from all over Zambia. Does it mean that he only needs to recruit Tongas. I don't follow that logic, he is actually thinking along tribal lines," he said.

"This party is not for Tongas. Dr Canisius Banda and Honourable Mutale Nalumango made correct decisions to join the party of the moment. Everybody is seeing the failures of the PF and they are aligning with the correct political force."

And Kakoma said the UPND does not only depend on Hichilema for financial support.

"There are a lot of members who contribute to the party; members of parliament; national management committee members and sympathisers all contribute to the party. Obviously, HH also contributes, but that is not to say that people should come to the party because they want handouts from Hakainde. It doesn't work like that," said Kakoma.

And the residents who on Friday gave Siamunene a thunderous welcome during his visit to the constituency to attend the burial of Mike Siamize, a UPND cadre who is also Siamunene's cousin who died last week in a road accident along the Livingstone Road have vowed to teach Hichilema a lesson.

Proceedings at the burial site almost came to a standstill when Siamunene's ministerial vehicle arrived at Sinanjola village where Siamize was buried much to the delight of the residents that gathered at the site.

Soon after the burial which was attended by Kalomo UPND member of parliament Request Muntanga who represented Hichilema, the residents who could not be controlled by the heavy presence of police officers thronged Siamunene encouraging him to stand strong and be rest assured that he had the support of the people in the area.

A resident, Kenny Sibanda was heard telling Siamunene that people in the area are so grateful to the government for initiating various developmental projects and that they will show appreciation by making sure that they voted for him now that UPND had expelled him.

Sibanda added that residents in the area are fed-up with the UPND which is expelling its members of parliament that have accepted to work with the government.

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